Two weeks ago, the Indianapolis Star's Bob Kravitz wrote an article that, pretty clearly, stated that there was an internal feud inside the Colts organization between vice chairman Bill Polian and the quarterback he famously drafted in 1998, Peyton Manning. It's an article that got some national attention for the sole reason that a Polian v. Manning spat makes for GREAT water cooler theater.
And, considering the Colts are 0-13, it's about the only thing the team is doing right now that qualifies as entertaining.
The Polian v. Manning rumors have continued to rumble through the grapevine surrounding West 56th Street. It's gotten to the point that, at season's end, Jim Irsay may have to pick between Bill and Peyton. If he does, I'm told Bill, along with his two sons whom he gave cushy jobs in the front office, are toast. Irsay will not part with Manning. Not if he's healthy.
Yesterday, on a local Indianapolis radio show with host Dan Dakich, Star beat writer Mike Chappell hinted further at a Manning v. Polian feud [emphasis mine]:
I know [Peyton's] been upset, I don't know what level you want to put it [at], DEFCON whatever, he's been upset with some of the stuff that's come out on the injuries. Way back when, the nature of the injury, the surgeries and all this. He's a very private person when it comes to that. He wasn't really happy that all this stuff was coming out, when it came out. And I don't remember specially what it was, but there was information coming out that wasn't from him and he wasn't happy about it. You're right, there has been stuff that's been leaked, I guess that's the right word, from people. Again, there's only... it's not like there's a lot of moles running around the Colts organization. There's just not. There's two or three people, higher up, that when it comes out you just know that it was one, two, or three.
Oh! Oh! Oh! Let me please guess who one, two, and three are! Oh! Oh! Oh! Please! Please! Please!
[The imaginary Mike Chappell I see in my office says, 'OK Brad. You can guess who they are.']
OK. Let's see. Ahhhhhhh... I don't think it's Tirico, Chucky, and Jaws. It's not Corso, Fowler, and Herby. It's not Patrick, Dungy, and Harrison. So, if it isn't them, maybe it's this guy, this guy, and the guy Bob Kravitz once wrote was a 'toxic force' within the Colts organization.
Yeah! Yeah, I'm thinking it's them.
The injury information Chappell could be referring to might be the info radio personality Jon Michael Vincent tweeted back in August. JMV (as he is affectionately called) reportedly got that info from someone within the Colts organization, or so Bob Kravitz said he did. Did one, two, or three flap their gums at JMV?
Or, was Manning pissed at ESPN's injury update back on Sept. 8th. The report came from Chris Mortensen, a man known to be the media mouthpiece for Bill Polian himself.
Or, perhaps Manning is still fuming over Polian saying that the two talked and came to an agreement over the Colts drafting a QB in 2012, a conversation Peyton has repeatedly denied took place.
What we can now say is that two pretty reliable people (Kravitz and Chappell) are saying Peyton is making a mean Manning face at the front office. And, let's be honest, he should be pissed.
The wheels are falling off the Polian Bandwagon folks. I mean, Mike Chappell has covered the Colts since they arrived from Baltimore back in 1984. 27 FRIGGIN YEARS! I bet half of you reading this now aren't even 27. And if you aren't yet 27, F*CK YOU! You should be doing drugs and downing jello shots off a person's bare stomach now, not reading a blog at 10:00AM on a Wednesday! WTF is wrong with you! Kids today. They just don't get it.
Where was I? OH YES! Chappell. 27 years. Man, that's a long time. He's seen some really bad Colts teams in his day. The 3-13 season in 1986 that got coach Rod Dowhower fired. The 1-15 Jeff George-led circus in 1991. The Lindy Infante years. He's seen it all.
So, it should give everyone pause when a guy like Chappell says something like this:
Yeah, [this franchise] is as dysfunction as I can remember it.
Ugh. Pass the jello shots.